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Omega-3 Fatty-Acids May Help With Depression

A growing body of research suggests that omega-3 fatty-acids may be good for general brain health. This is supported by a recent study that found reduced depressive symptoms in mature adults following omega-3 supplementation.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia and published in the British Journal of Nutrition on September 20, 2011.

Participants in the study included 50 people older than 65. They were split into three groups; one consumed an EPA-rich supplement of 1.67 grams of EPA and 0.16 grams of DHA, one consumed a DHA-rich supplement of 1.55 grams of DHA and 0.40 grams of EPA, and one consumed 2.2 grams of omega-6 linoleic acid.

EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid, which is found primarily in oily fish. DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid and is found in both fish and microalgae.

After six months of daily supplementation, the EPA and DHA rich groups both showed notable improvements on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDA). The improvements were most notable in the DHA group, suggesting that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may be most effective in combating mental health issues.

The scientists noted that further research is warranted, particularly with larger samples of clinically depressed adults.

Fish oil has been linked to numerous other health benefits, including combating diabetes, lowering cholesterol, improving vision and reducing the risk of dementia.

If you’re looking to increase your fish oil intake, try adding darker fish, such as salmon or tuna, to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of fish or are just finding it hard to work it into your meal plans, consider taking a high quality supplement. Make sure your supplement is tested for purity and potency.

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